The Warmth of Other Suns

This book spans the story of three African Americans emigrating from southern states in the US. The book spans the lifetime of the three individuals: Ide Mae Gladney, George Starling and Robert Parshing Foster as they sought to leave the south. Each of the characters left under different conditions, Ida Mae taking the train with her husband, George riding in a coffin north, and Robert driving west to California. To their surprise, however, the north wasn’t the haven that they assumed it would be. Although it may not have been publicized, each of these three individuals still faced discrimination and found that their hard work in the North wasn’t enough to bring the peace and security that they sought upon their departure of the southern states.

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The first book I’ve read this summer in conjunction with my research was entitled “Self-Taught: African American Education in Slavery and Freedom” by Heather Andrea Williams. Based on instances from the Civil War Era, this book describes ways in which African Americans took their education into their own hands. This would pose a threat to whites across America because education was something that only prosperous whites sought after, threatening the class distinctions between the newly freed blacks and the poorer whites. Reading this piece of nonfiction made me realize the extent to which minorities are oppressed to maintain class distinctions, despite being in a nation that is supposed to be equal.

The Cultivation of the Black Experience

Hi Everyone!

My name is Tanisha Ingram and I am a rising senior at the College. As a double Africana Studies and Sociology major I thought it would be appropriate to conduct my research on something that hits close to him, the African American experience at the College of William and Mary. My research focuses on the ways in which African Americans were prohibited from attending this institution following the passing of Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and the ways in which that has served to reinforce the second class citizenship of African Americans in the greater Williamsburg area. I hope that everyone finds my research informative and I’m looking forward to discovering new information this summer.

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